School Energy Audit in PA Arrives at Surprising Conclusion

based on article by Carl Weinschenk, Energy Manager Today

Education is one of the main verticals for energy efficiency. School buildings often are old, the needs are great and money is available. Thus, opportunities abound. Indeed, a day doesn't seem to go by without an announcement of a project somewhere.

Something different has happened in the Greensburg Salem School District in Pennsylvania. Schneider Electric recently completed an energy audit. The result, in essence, was, "You're good."

The report indicated that the buildings were more efficient than anticipated. Some light touch work, such as using LED lights, was suggested. But no major upgrade or retrofit opportunities were identified. A quote in the piece, from School Board President Ron Mellinger, summed it up: "They told us our buildings were more efficient than any audit they've ever done," he said.

In an ironic way, the energy efficiency of the facilities could work against the school system. An architectural study two years ago found that the heating, plumbing and electrical systems couldn't be supported for too much longer. Thus, the rationale for replacement would have been stronger if great energy efficiency gains would be achieved.

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Source: Energy Manager Today